IELTS Task 1 Band 9 – Writing sample

IELTS Task 1 Band 9

Below is a sample IELTS Task 1 question and a model answer. The answer is estimated to get a Band 9 Score. Have a look at the answer first and then we can look at it in more detail.

IELTS task 1 band 9 chart

source: IELTS Buddy

The table below shows the estimated oil capacity of six countries, in millions of barrels per day, from 1990 to 2010.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

Write at least 150 Words.


Model Answer

The bar chart illustrates the estimated amount of oil produced in 6 countries between 1990 and 2010, measured in millions of barrels per day.

Overall, oil production capacity tended to increase during this 20-year period. The figures for Saudi Arabia were significantly higher than in the other countries, while production was lowest in Qatar.

From 1990 to 2010, there was a significant increase in oil production in Saudi Arabia. In 1990, just over 8 million barrels per day were produced and this rose steadily, reaching a peak of over 14 million barrels per day in 2010. In contrast, the smallest producer was Qatar. Despite a slight increase in 2000, production in Qatar remained relatively stable at less than 1 million barrels per day.

The other countries saw a slight rise in oil production over the period. The estimated figure for Iran in 1990 was over 3 million barrels per day, compared with around 2 million barrels in the other three countries. Although production did not increase in 2000 in the UAE, the amount of oil produced peaked in 2010 in Iran at over 4 million barrels and at almost 4 million barrels in Iraq, Kuwait and the UAE.

(198 words)


IELTS Task 1 Band Score 9

Task Achievement: 9

Coherence & Cohesion: 9

Lexical resources: 9

Grammar: 9

Overall Score: Band 9


Paragraph 1

The opening paragraph has all the key information about the graph but it paraphrases the question. This is very important. Make sure you use synonyms and rephrase your answer. For example, in this case:

“shows” to “illustrates”

“oil capacity” to “amount of oil”

“from 1990 to 2010” to “between 1990 and 2010”

Paragraph 2

This paragraph gives a clear overview of the chart. The overall trend is that the capacity increased, but there is a big difference between Saudi Arabia and Qatar. This paragraph demonstrates an excellent knowledge of the required grammar and vocabulary. “Tended to increase”; “20-year period” (and not 20-years period); “significantly higher than”.

Paragraph 3

This paragraph goes into detail about the two most significant countries: Saudi Arabia and Qatar. It follows clearly from the previous paragraph which has highlighted these two countries. All the key vocabulary to describe movement in a graph is used correctly (“significant increase”; “rose steadily”; “reaching a peak”; “remained relatively stable”). There are two sentences about Saudi Arabia and then two about Qatar, correctly using the linking phrase “in contrast”. The paragraph is very well structured and cohesive, with no grammar mistakes and an excellent range of vocabulary.

Paragraph 4

Paragraph 4 gives details about the four remaining countries. Again, all the language for describing a graph is accurate – “saw a slight rise”, “peaked in 2010”. The prepositions are also used correctly (something students often mix up) – “a rise in production”, “in 1990”, “compared with”, “peaked in 2010 in Iran at over 4 million barrels”  


This answer displays everything needed for a Band 9 answer on IELTS Task 1. The answer is clear and well-structured with a skilful use of paragraphs and links. There is a wide range of very natural vocabulary needed to describe a graph and there are no spelling mistakes. There are no grammar mistakes in the answer and there is an excellent range of complex structures.


IELTS task one marking scheme:

IELTS task 1 Writing band descriptors PDF
IELTS band score 6-9
This post is by Everest Language School teacher and literary podcaster Conor Reid

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